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December 31st, 2007


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01:02 pm - The Privilege Meme
I grew up in a standard two-income middle/upper-middle class family. My parents became firmly members of the upper edges of the upper middle class once they started their antique business, but that happened after I went off to college. However, I was definitely quite privileged. I still remember taking the PSATs when I was 15, and being puzzled by the section where they were collecting demographic income statistics on the form I filled about before taking the test. I didn't know any details of my parent's income at the time, but I had a rough idea, and I noticed that all but the upper-most box for income data were well below what I knew to be the absolute lower-bound of what my parent's income was. I still vividly remember wondering if that many people actually grew up in families that much poorer than my own. Sadly, they did.

From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
(both parents have MA degrees, as do I)
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (costs after scholarships)
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs (they took out student loans in my name and paid for all the rest)
16. Went to a private high school (my mother wanted to send me to a private boy's school, thank the gods, I said no)
17. Went to summer camp (I consider overnight summer camp to be a particularly loathsome ordeal rather than anything remotely resembling a privilege. OTOH, the horseback riding day camp was a joy, and was also where I learned that it was in general far easier for me to friends with women than men)
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
23. You and your family lived in a single family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18 (I was sufficiently asocial as a teen that this would have been utterly pointless)
27. Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course (I never needed one)
28. Had your own TV in your room in High School
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

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(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:5eh
Date:December 31st, 2007 10:28 pm (UTC)
(Link)
From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
My mom left me with my grandmother when I was 13 to finish college, soooo, I don't really know of this fits in the paradigm of "your mother went to college before you were born"
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (costs after scholarships)
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
23. You and your family lived in a single family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child
I was an only child past the age of 9, but before that I shared a room with my brother
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
28. Had your own TV in your room in High School
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
we had a wood stove to heat the house...do I get to figure out how much it costs to chop wood *grin*
[User Picture]
From:tlttlotd
Date:January 1st, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (costs after scholarships)
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs (they took out student loans in my name and paid for all the rest)
16. Went to a private high school (wanted to, couldn't afford it)
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18 (not a privilege, I am that bad at math)
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels (Vacations?)
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
23. You and your family lived in a single family house>/b>
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home (Grandparents, actually)
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
28. Had your own TV in your room in High School (Scavenged from a Radio Shack dumpster and repaired with spare parts)
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family
[User Picture]
From:tlttlotd
Date:January 1st, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oops - I screwed up closing a BOLD tag - the last handful of entries aren't actually supposed to be bolded.
[User Picture]
From:kalyx
Date:January 1st, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)

Interesting...

(Link)
I came from a more privileged background than I thought. I also felt poorer than those around me. This might have more to do with my up bringing than actual status. But I currently work around MDs and really feel the class differences. And I have a M.S.! But I was raised in an affluent area of CA where it was obvious that my family was not nearly as affluent as my neighbors and classmates. Kids at my school came in limos.

1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college

4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (costs after scholarships) *(my parents could have afforded to pay for college at that time, but wouldn't. Once I turned 18, my education was my own responsibility and expense. I feel strongly still that more people should pay for their own college education.)
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels *Oddly, my family never once took a family vacation.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 *My clothing was made until 5th grade, but it was new. In 5th grade, I went school shopping for the first time.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child
23. You and your family lived in a single family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
27. Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
28. Had your own TV in your room in High School
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (while I was unaware, I did know we couldn't afford to fix the heater and thus, went w/out heat. My father eventually put in a woodburning stove. We also couldn't afford air conditioning in the miserable CA summers)
[User Picture]
From:baxil
Date:January 2nd, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
I score 26 of 34. I also work in two solidly blue-collar part-time jobs; barely keep up with rent; and am putting my wife through a vocational school by leveraging my awesome credit rating into ginormous student loans. Hooray downward mobility!

Of course, my two older siblings are a realtor and a tech firm CEO, and my younger sister is marrying a man she met while teaching English in Italy, so it's probably just that I'm the economic black sheep of the family. My goals in life have always been orthogonal to money.
[User Picture]
From:mikkop
Date:January 2nd, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hm, I don't know how to use the bold tags in this comment box, so I'll continue in my LJ.

I have to say that all of this isn't applicable, as I'm Finnish, but I'll try.

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